Issue: Education


New Mexicans generally agree that obtaining a credential or a degree through post-high school education will increase a person’s earning potential across a lifetime. Since our state has among the highest poverty rates in the nation, helping more New Mexicans complete some level of post-high school education is an urgently needed remedy to low wages. While college can be an important time of self-discovery for many young people, plenty of students cannot afford to “explore” their way through higher education; they need smoothly paved pathways to better-paying employment that will encumber them with as little debt as possible. The roadmaps to academic and career success – with their unique starting points, routes, off-ramps and navigational systems – together created the subject of New Mexico First’s April 10-11 town hall, Strengthening Higher Education and Tomorrow’s Workforce.

New Mexico First’s education goals includes:

  • Improve career-based education for students of all ages: Increase the number and quality of career-based learning opportunities.
  • Make New Mexico a global leader in energy education and research: Integrate all energy sectors into a collaborative system to establish New Mexico as the worldwide leader in energy education and innovation.
  • Meet the rapidly changing workforce needs of New Mexico’s energy sector: Align education and training programs to meet energy sector workforce needs.
  • Grow New Mexico’s healthcare workforce: Ensure that New Mexico has a sufficient number of healthcare, behavioral health, dental health and elder care providers.
  • Ensure that the health workforce is highly diverse and culturally competent: Increase access to, equity in, and support for healthcare education that reflect and support New Mexico’s diverse population.
  • Create a highly qualified and diverse pool of K-12 teachers: Expand and support the current and future teacher pipeline to reflect and honor the diversity of our state population.
  • Improve collaboration between New Mexico's colleges and universities: Incentivize collaboration among higher education institutions to improve access and equity, streamline pathways to completion, and minimize financial burdens.
  • Strengthen governance and accountability for colleges and universities: Improve accountability and efficiency among higher education institutions by achieving the most effective governance systems.
  • Advance a workforce training governance system: Advance a workforce training governance structure across public and private sectors to mobilize an agile, adaptable, and innovative system.

These priorities and others emerged from New Mexico First’s 2018 Statewide Town Hall: Strengthening Higher Education and Tomorrow’s Workforce.





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